Advertising Demographics

I took advantage of my “All You Can Jet Pass” with JetBlue to spend the day in Manhattan yesterday for no particular reason.  I’d like to share a couple highlights of my trip.

We’ll Need Both Horsepower

I noticed the New York Police Department has purchased some interesting law enforcement vehicles I hadn’t seen before:

NYPD Enforcer

NYPD Enforcer

In the words of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in the episode Space Mutiny), “Put your helmet on!  We’ll be reaching speeds of three!”

Location, Location, Location

On my way up Fifth Avenue, I noticed a suspicious lack of overwhelming crowds in the 34th street area.  On a drizzly, foggy morning, I decided it might be the perfect time to see the top of the Empire State Building for the first time.  I walked straight in past the enormous rooms setup with stanchions to control the usual crowds, all completely empty, and went straight to the top.  Even in bad weather the view is fantastic.

Looking down, I couldn’t help noticing this advertisement pointed straight up at us:

Empire State Building Ad

Empire State Building Ad

Since the official website (under Frequently Asked Questions) reports that 3.8 million people visit the building every year, statistically a few were probably looking for an apartment.  On the other hand, about 90% of the people I heard up there were speaking French, suggesting they weren’t from the New York area, and thus were far less likely to be moving in.


The Buttercup Bake Shop is as fantastic as its pictures suggest.  No humorous anecdote; just good cupcakes.

And Your Bike is Just Like a Subway Car, Only Smaller

A woman ran onto my LIRR train on Saturday, pushing a very young (one year old?) child in a stroller.  She parked the stroller by the window initially, but then suddenly thought better and mentioned – to herself, to her daughter, or to nobody in particular – “I should point her away from the window.  We learned today she does not like trains.”

The little girl played contentedly (or at least quietly – enough that I paid her no attention at all)  as we pulled out of Penn Station and inched forward underground.  Then sure enough, the very moment we emerged into the daylight and she saw the scenery passing by the window she started crying.

“It’s okay, Cindy,” her mother reassured, “it’s just like a subway!  It’s just a subway that’s outside, that’s all.”  The kid actually stopped crying!

I can understand how a kid from anywhere else, accustomed to ordinary trains, might be frightened to go underground, where it’s dark and noisy and scary.  In this world, trains are supposed to run underground, and when they come to the surface something has gone terribly wrong.

I love this city!